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VITA Helps Low to Moderate Income Families Keep 100% of Their Refund

United Way of Hernando County’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Helps EITC and ACTC Recipients Navigate New IRS Tax Refund Delay

Spring Hill, FL - December 15, 2016 — It is more important than ever to prepare accurate income tax returns during the 2017 tax season. A new law requires the IRS to delay issuing refunds for certain taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15. The law has no exceptions and is designed to make it easier for the IRS to find and stop fraud.

United Way of Hernando County’s VITA program is one of over 12,000 programs across the country that the IRS relies on to help people file their taxes every year, completely free of charge. In 2016 alone, our IRS certified volunteers helped over 1,006 individuals in Hernando County qualify for and keep 100% of their refunds—over $947,418—without worrying about hidden fees or unexpected charges.

On average, many of our clients receive over thirty percent of their annual income in tax refunds, making their tax returns vital to their financial lives. “For more than 10 years, VITA has helped individuals and families get their maximum refund that they use on necessities, like paying bills, paying down debt, making new purchases, and saving,” said Angela Bonfardino, United Way’s Executive Director. “We are dedicated to helping as many community members as we can and encourage taxpayers to be wary of preparers promising faster refunds through expensive financial products, like loans.”

“I had a great experience with VITA and your volunteers,” said J.R., a first time VITA customer. “Everyone involved was very professional and it takes about an hour from start to finish. You first check in, fill out paperwork, get an accredited person to do your taxes, then another person double checks to make sure everything was done correctly. Very professional on how it was all done. Would definitely endorse to have your taxes done by VITA. Will be back next year.”

Who can benefit from VITA? Generally, individuals who make less than $65,000 are eligible to have their taxes prepared and e-filed for free. Our services are also available to persons with disabilities, the elderly and any Hernando County resident who needs assistance in preparing their taxes.

Where do I go to participate in VITA? Call United Way’s Resource Line by dialing 2-1-1. Ask for Hernando VITA locations. All Hernando sites and appointment information are listed on 2-1-1. You can also visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org/VITA-locations to download a VITA flyer.

High Quality Service. All VITA volunteers at each free tax preparation site have gone through at least 15 hours of training and are certified by the IRS. We make sure our customers get high-quality, professional service by trained volunteers who are equipped to identify tax refund opportunities for customers. Our goal is to help our customers get their maximum refund and claim all the credits that they have earned. During the 2015 filing season alone, over 90,000 volunteers nationwide helped prepare over 3.7 million returns at thousands of tax sites.  

For more information on VITA or how to connect to United Way, visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org.

Plan on using a Free File program at no cost to you? This option is available at www.MyFreeTaxes.com and can be accessed from the comfort of your living room.

 

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